DMHC Press Release

January 22, 2023


Sunday, January 22, 2023


Joint Statement from California Health and Human Services Agency Leaders on 50th Anniversary of the Roe v. Wade Decision

Joint statement from CalHHS Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly, California Surgeon General Dr. Diana Ramos, Department of Health Care Services Director Michelle Baass, Department of Public Health Director and State Public Health Officer Dr. Tomás Aragón, Department of Health Care Access and Information Director Elizabeth Landsberg, and Department of Managed Health Care Director Mary Watanabe


“For the last 50 years, the Supreme Court’s landmark decision in Roe v. Wade ensured that reproductive health care was a right and not a privilege. Seven months ago, the Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade challenged us to work harder than ever to make sure the residents of the Golden State have access to the reproductive care they need.

California is committed to ensuring reproductive health care is a right and not a privilege. We will continue to uphold protections and expand access to ensure the health and wellbeing of anyone seeking reproductive services, while at home or out of state. Cost will not be a barrier to accessing care.

We are furthering our commitment to improve the delivery of affordable, accessible and high-quality reproductive health care across our state.

California will continue its progress toward equitable access to comprehensive family planning and related services, even as the state’s reproductive health safety net grapples with the increased pressures of an influx of patients traveling from other states to access abortion and other reproductive health services that are no longer available in their state.”

Recent State Actions to Support Reproductive Care

  • To improve access to reproductive health care, the Department of Managed Health Care reminded California health plans about their responsibility to cover and provide access to emergency and urgent care services when enrollees are out of state. This includes when an enrollee needs emergency or urgent care while in another state that may restrict access to reproductive health care services, like abortion care.
  • In partnership with the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the Department of Health Care Services is developing a Reproductive Health Services 1115 Medicaid waiver to support access to family planning and related services for Medi-Cal members, as well as other individuals who may face barriers to access; support the capacity and sustainability of California’s reproductive-health safety net; and promote system innovation among California’s reproductive-health providers.
  • Through the Department of Health Care Access and Information, the state is providing $120 million in grants to increase the number of healthcare providers offering reproductive health care, expand access to abortions and abortion-related services and secure facilities providing reproductive health care.
  • The state established the California Reproductive Justice and Freedom Fund under the Department of Public Health to support community-based reproductive health, rights, and justice organizations to conduct medically accurate and culturally competent outreach and education on sexual health and reproductive health issues.
  • People both inside and outside of California can visit for information about abortions, their legal rights, where to find providers, how to pay for services and financial assistance, ways to locate wellness and emotional support, and more.”


About DMHC:

The California Department of Managed Health Care (DMHC) protects the health care rights of 28.4 million Californians and ensures a stable health care delivery system. The DMHC Help Center has assisted 2.6 million Californians to resolve complaints and issues with their health plan. The DMHC Help Center provides assistance in all languages and all services are free. For more information visit or call 1-888-466-2219.